Curriculum-based measurement in writing : predicting success and estimating writing growth for English language learners and Non-English language learners
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Curriculum-based measurement in writing (CBM-W) has been proposed as a means of screening general education and special education students for writing difficulties and as a tool for monitoring the progress of struggling writers. CBM-W involves the administration of multiple probes of equivalent difficulty over time to monitor student progress toward academic standards (McMaster & Espin, 2007). The purpose of this study was to determine the technical adequacy of multiple CBM-W measures and how well the measures predicted writing performance. Additionally, this study examined how well CBM-W measures predicted student growth in writing over time. This study also extended the work of previous research by including a sample of 5th grade Hispanic students (n = 167), including English language learners (ELLs), former ELLs who were being monitored, ELLs with disabilities, and non-ELLs. Students were given story starters and completed narrative writing samples that were scored using words written (WW), words spelled correctly (WSC), correct word sequences (CWS), and correct minus incorrect word sequences (CIWS). The criterion measure was the Test of Written Language, Fourth Edition (TOWL-4). Results indicated inconsistent alternate-forms reliability for WW and WSC, and high alternate-forms reliability for CWS and CIWS. CWS and CIWS were the best predictors of one-time writing performance on the TOWL-4 for the overall sample, ELLs, former ELLs on first year monitor status, and ELLs with disabilities. CBM-W was not a significant predictor of student growth over time for most scoring procedures. However, a promising finding is that the scoring procedure of CWS was a significant predictor of student growth for the overall sample and for former ELLs on first year monitor status. Limitations, practical implications and future research will be discussed.